Common name: English Beagle
- Dog Breed Group: Hound Group
- Life span: 10-15 years
- Weight: under 20 pounds (13 inches & under), 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches
- Height: 13 inches & under, 13-15 inches
The origin of the word “beagle” is still uncertain. It is a baffling thought whether the name is derived from the Old English word beag, meaning small or the German word begele, meaning to scold. The most important thing to know about the Beagle is that he is a scenthound. His nose is the most important part of his anatomy and his head always sticks to the ground. Through time, different types of Beagles were bred depending on the type of ground over which they were expected to hunt; those who lived in the gentle ground produced slow and ponderous dogs, while those who lived in the rougher ground like in the border of Britain and Scotland produced agile and has lots of endurance breed.
Though the development of the dog’s physique was conceded throughout history, the Beagles today don’t differ a lot from the Beagle of 200 years ago. Both could still be physically recognized as the Beagle and they would still be the same easy-going dogs with a strong hunting instinct. Although they may initially be standoffish with strangers but they are easily won over. Beagles are intelligent but they are hard to train with because they are easily bored and distracted that is why they do not generally feature in obedience trials.
The general appearance of the Beagle resembles a miniature Foxhound, but its head is broader and muzzle shorter. They are generally between 13 and 16 inches high and weigh between 18 and 35 pounds, with females being slightly smaller than males on average. The breed standard says that they can be any hound color, including tricolor, red and white, and lemon. Beagles are easy-care dogs that don’t need fancy grooming.
Like normal dogs, the typical longevity of Beagles is 12–15 years. It is important to be aware of diseases if considering this breed. The Beagle is prone to a range of illnesses; Musladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS) in which the eyes are slanted and the outer toes are underdeveloped, hip dysplasia, and certain eye problems. Its long and floppy ears are also prone to chronic ear infections. Owners should keep tabs on their dog’s overall condition and consult their vet with any questions or concerns that may arise.
The smooth, dense double coat of beagle sheds moderately year-round. A good going-over with a hound mitt and brushing with a medium-bristle brush once or twice a week to remove loose hair may help in promoting fine hair growth. However, Beagles don’t need to be bathed often unless they roll in something stinky. Since they have droopy ears, cleaning with solutions and not with cotton buds are recommended. Like other dogs, it is important that nails should be trimmed monthly.
They need plenty of exercises since they are active and energetic dogs, about an hour a day if possible. If left alone and unexercised, Beagles can get bored and can become destructive. These dogs are great hunters, therefore a leash is recommended during walks to prevent running-off in pursuit of a compelling scent.
These dogs are recommended to have a daily amount of ¾ to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Beagles should do well on high-quality dog food, whether it is commercial or home-prepared as long as it is supervised and approved by the vet. Beagles are “chow hounds” and will overeat if given a chance. Monitor calorie consumption and weight level and be sure to keep cupboards closed and trashcans secured. Otherwise, the Beagle will sniff out the food he likes the best.
- Beagles are an old dog breed, so old that their exact origins are unknown. However, modern-day Beagles’ ancestors lived in England around the Roman Empire era or before, and became popular with the rise of fox hunting in the area.
- Beagles have approximately 220 million scent receptors compared to the paltry 5 million or so in people, which makes them very good at picking up scents. Humorist Dave Barry once described his in-laws’ Beagle as “a nose with feet.”
- Beagles appeared in funny animal comic strips and animated cartoons since the 1950s with Courage the Cowardly Dog and the Peanuts character Snoopy was billed as “the world’s most famous Beagle”.